Sunday, July 16, 2017

And...We're Off!

Those darn kittens!

Four days ago, the raccoons came in the night, and tore the hasp and hook holding the 
door to the little coop out, went in, rousted out the four kittens, and ate everything in sight, fouling the water like they usually do.  


There were the first three in the coop after they took up residence. 


Kitten Four was a curtain climber from the get-go. 

Lucky, because two nights later, the raccoons burst in. 


I got out there to find the door open, the rocks moved, and the hasp torn from the door.  I looked around... there were no kitten bodies or blood spots... so.... I crossed my fingers. 

I took the big feeder out of the coop, and cleaned the porch up a little and put it on the porch. 
I cleaned the fouled water out, and put the water on the porch, too, and propped the door open with the stones.  I left the litter box in the coop. 


I put the camera on the little free standing coop next to the red coop. 
It was a grow-out coop I used for babies. 



And... BOO... we see you!

I am happy to report that the kittens are coming in and out of the coop all day and evening. They are using their new, much larger litter box. 

Here is the new scheme: 
I leave the large water fountain and the large feeder on the porch of the coop 
during the day.  At night, when I go to lock the birds up, I remove it and actually take the food into the house.  I do leave the water fountain. 


I put a new bag of food into the fountain this morning.  As you can see, the water is befouled by the raccoons, but they only dropped by twice last night.  The kittens met them coming and going. 
That whole feeder goes to the kitchen at night. 

I cleaned the fountain out. 

So far, the raccoons have not come during the day. 

So, kittens are not the only thing that has been going on this last week. 


That's my right hand this morning. 

Last week was Wyandotte County Fair week, and I have battle scars from feeding birds. 


Such as these.  You see, the poultry superintendent does not provide cups for every cage, (and yes, the kids are supposed to bring them)  and some birds have to eat on their nasty bedding.  Yes, I'm pointing fingers.  In four days, I fed all cages and watered them, at 8:30 in the morning.  I saw only two sets of 4H kids.... they are not made to take care of their own birds.  I donated feed.  I physically fed and watered 8 times.  I am  not complaining, I am BLAMING.  I went back at 3 or 4 and fed and watered again.  I grew up in Wyandotte County, and loved this fair, but it has changed, and not for the better.  

At the Leavenworth County fair, (week after next) the poultry super requires the kids to come daily, feed and water their own birds, check cages frequently, and clean their cages.  They are not allowed to collect premiums or trophies until the cages are cleaned at the end of the show.  It is done strictly, and there are ALWAYS kids in the barn, going around checking.  

But what about the parents who work?  

The parents and kids are told "You will find a way to the fair".  

It is enforced.  It teaches responsibility. 

I got several excuses: 

They are showing horses too, they are at the horse barn. 

That does not mean you leave your chickens to starve and suffer in 100 degree heat. 

The parents work 

Ditto. 

I talked to several rabbit mothers (the poultry shares with the rabbits) and saw them every single morning, bringing their kids to take care of their rabbits.  I only saw a few groups of kids come in to check their birds.  When I know a water cup was full at 9, and come back at three and it is completely dry, I know no one has checked.  

However, there was a bright ray: 


The three birds entered by the kids from Camp Grow at the Ag Hall
won Grand Champion Open Hen, and two blues.  

I could not get a good picture of Princess, Speckles, and Brownie. 

At the end of fair, they came home with me, and now the coop at the Ag Hall is home to 24 new beauties: 



They are gorgeous Cochin babies from Stromberg's Hatchery, in buff, splash, partridge, black and blue. 

They now have the run of the coop at the Ag. 


While the big girls are living with me. 


Last Sunday night. 

Worth every penny I spent on the tickets.  If they have not come to your town yet, 
get tickets!


If I could convey my happiness at this point, I would. 


I was this happy. 

Lilly turns 12 this month.  We know she was about six to eight weeks old 
when we adopted her in September.  She is hurting more now, limps sometimes, and is having trouble getting in and out of the car, even using the steps.  I am praying she hangs on for the move, she loves her home in the country. 


I can't say enough good about this little guy, who loves his little bear. 

I am watching him, our dreadful hot weather is so very hard on him. 


My new kitchen counters will be this. 

I am looking at lighting now. 

I am going a little more sophisticated in my old age. 


Have a good week, everyone!


( I have hardly had the big cameras out lately.  I'll be more 
assiduous when I get closer to the move!)
(late August)


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Fourth



Batter swings, and the summer flies
As I look into my angel's eyes
The song plays on while the moon glows high
Over me, something comes over me...

(The Riddle)

Just because I don't talk about it doesn't mean I don't think about it.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Invasion!


Teaser: 


That's the teaser.  I can't show any more right now. 

I told you I would show you. 

So... this has been happening at the farm: 




He is not alone. 
There are scores. 


But this is what I was looking for, and am so glad to see. 
He has been missing lately. 

He is looking over his shoulder because of this. 


Do you see there in the left corner? 


Glad to see this one, too. 


And glad to see this one, because that means all three kitties got something to eat today. 

I have not seen the gray cat for days. 

The black cat was there just before the dogs and I pulled into the gate, in fact, it looks open 
in the picture.  I am sure it ran under the deck when we pulled up. 

So, this is why I was worried about the cats eating: 


Uh huh 




See the curtain climbers? 





If I were their mama, I would be tired, too!

I tried something different tonight, I put some food at 
the far edge of the porch.  I am confident that the cats had a chance to eat, though. 

I can tell the raccoons have been around the henhouse where the feral kittens are, too, but they cannot get into it.  I am going to make triply sure tomorrow. 

There were at least four other adults, the mama must have run them off. 

I haven't seen the opossums for a while, either. 

When I get moved, this will all have to change.  I will probably go back to a feeder in the pasture so that no one will come up on the deck or porch. 

My gosh, it is July 3rd, and the air is rumbling outside with 
fireworks.  

I hope you all are safe tomorrow, and have a great holiday! 

Remember your pets! 



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Musings After Nearly a Month

I have been a bad, bad blogger. 

I intend every night to sit down and write a blogpost... and every night, 
I am so tired, I sit and fall asleep in the recliner or on the couch. 

You see, I am doing a lot of this: 







The pasture was not mowed last year, though it 
was burned off. 

It was a mess.  I had Odin's Lawncare come in and bush hog it.... 
(shoutout to Brandon Beary) and then I cut it a week ago for the first time with my own mower. 
I had to go very slowly.  

Then, I got on the mower Monday morning to cut the 1/5th I had not touched last week, and I ended up doing the whole thing again.  It was a beautiful morning, as you can see, and the temps were perfect.  

In the fourth picture is the brush pile where this will go: 


and that 's only PART of it, bwahahahahaha. 



There is a bigger pile east of this one.  Somewhere under there is the round trashburner/hot dog roasting place that Keith built.  I can't wait til it can be used again. 


Pears are growing and ripening.  
I know longer know the variety, but they are very sweet. 


Oh, yes. 



Some of the girls from the Ag have joined me at home in the henspa.  


There are actually 9 there now. 


The first. 


Raccoons continue to visit the deck. 


Longtime readers will remember the little red henhouse, in which I used to keep bantams. 
Keith built this for me to isolate the smaller birds.   
The old henyard, once so sunny, is overgrown and gloomy, but that little henhouse is being put to good use. 


These three little dolls are living it in right now.  They are 13 weeks old, have been vaccinated and neutered, and will be living as supported ferals (supported by me).  They are NOT friendly.  

(turn up your volume)
video

In another week, I will open the front door, and they will be able to come and go as they please. 
I'll make sure there is food and water, and I'm planning something even better for their winter. 

It has been storming all morning here, and I have not been to the Ag yet, or 
out to take care of my own birds and check on the kittens.  I need to get myself in gear. 


Little Jester went to sleep last night sucking on his bear. 

Tomorrow, I will give you a hint as to what's been happening with the little farmhouse. 








Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It's Flower Time


The Master Gardeners of Wyandotte County (Kansas) 
take care of the perennial gardens at the 
National Agricultural Center, where I volunteer. 

There are so many beautiful blooms right now... 





I have rarely been able to grow clematis, which requires cool roots and 
its' head in the sun. 

I had some here at this big house when I moved in, but I managed 
to kill it! 


Spirea "Anthony Waterer", one of my favorites. 

So, there are a few blooming here at the house, too...


Why I have ONE iris blooming in June, I don't know!!!   Monarda is about to cut 
loose around it.  (and yes, I'm pulling those weeds and re-mulching next week) . 


But the daylilies have begun their annual display. 


I guess I better do some digging, too! 


These are at the farmhouse... 


And look!  The pasture at the farm has been cut! 

There goes Brandon on his tractor.  Brandon, of Odin's Lawncare, has been 
doing the yard at the farmhouse.  He drove his old tractor four miles down 
24/40 highway with his bush hog (called "brush hog" here in our town), and cut 
it for me last night.  

My own John Deere X320 is being hauled out there on Friday, and 
I'll be able to keep the pasture down.  Brandon will continue doing the yard and the weed eating, every ten days.  

What a relief to see the grass down. 


However, this is my goat yard.  It's HORRIBLE.  

I can't even get the gate open. 

I'm buying a corn knife tomorrow and 
next week, I'm going to town on this mess. 

Somewhere, in the middle, is the pile of stones 
Chris gathered and built for the goats. 
They were scattered by the hogs the tenants kept 
in the pen.   I'm going to get the huge weeds cut, 
and then gather the stones again, and a friend is 
going to put some goats in there. 

I'll be busy next week! 


I took this tonight when I went over to take care of the chicks 
at the Ag. 

This is the younger of the two gosling clutches. 


The older clutch is now looking like miniature geese! 


You see the older bunch are really feathering out. 
They are used to me watching them. 


All of the sudden, heads came up and everyone turned as one towards the pond, hurrying down quickly. 


I leaned forward from my bench, because whatever scared them came from my 
left, or east side.  I never did see anything. 


It was not this guy... they see him all the time... I suspect a fox in the trees along the dam. 

I have had Nathan and Chris here for two days, up from 
Garnett... we go back in the morning, and then the 
dogs and cat and I will be back to our normal routine for 
a while!